“I Have to Get It All Done Now!” – On Delegation

We are in the middle of a series of blogs answering a difficult question.

“When I have filtered my tasks through the dream and decide phases of Think Time, and I still have a pile of to-dos that must be done, what do I do?”

To conquer this familiar problem, we are going to use the above sentence: “I Have to Get It All Done Now!”

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Today, we are going to focus on the first word, “I.”

When we are facing an insurmountable pile of to-dos that are imperative, one way to cut it down is to ask yourself the following question:

What can only I do?”

When, you are overwhelmed with all you have to do, sift your list into two categories according to this question.

Keep the items that only you can do, and delegate the remaining to capable others.

This can be difficult if you are in crunch time and are not accustomed to delegating.  Here are some ideas, however, to get you started.

  • Is this actually someone else’s job?  Do I need to take a look at my internal boundaries and make sure that I am not enabling or rescuing someone?  Hand it over to them.  It’s theirs.
  • Is there someone, anyone, who can grow through completing this task?  (To see the value of this, check out Mark Miller’s new book Leaders Made Here.)
  • Can new technology and innovations help me get this done faster?
    • Can you use Fiverr.com to hire tasks to be completed for work or the TaskRabbit app for a home task?
  • Is there someone you can hire in addition to your current team?
    • Do you need to onboard a top-level assistant?  Try Belay Solutions for a smart Virtual Assistant to help you manage your work life and your personal life–scheduling travel arrangements, organizing your inbox, or finding the best dry cleaner that delivers in your area.

If you are like me, you are feeling a new sense of hope in your chest and a lightness on your shoulders.  Feeling like we have to do it all can really weigh heavily on us.

The next time, you sense, “I Have to Do It All Now,” just remember this one question, “What can only I do?” and delegate the rest!

If were able to delegate to someone else, what is the first thing you would get off your plate?

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Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Do you need more time for what you value most?

Find out if Think Time is a fit for you at think-time.com.

 

Blog Highlights:

“What can only I do?” #delegation http://ow.ly/XGxx30iqc4S

Keep the tasks that only you can do, and delegate the rest. http://ow.ly/XGxx30iqc4S

Am I doing someone else’s work? #boundaries http://ow.ly/XGxx30iqc4S

Could someone else develop their skills by completing this task?  #delegate http://ow.ly/XGxx30iqc4S

Can new technology and innovations help me get this done faster?  http://ow.ly/XGxx30iqc4S

Is there someone you can hire in addition to your current team?http://ow.ly/XGxx30iqc4S

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

What is your YES?

As I write this, I am flying on a Southwest flight from Dallas to Atlanta.  The back of my cocktail napkin says, “In a world full of “NOs”, we are a plane full of “YES!”

These people are marketing geniuses!  They know every one of their passengers wants to hear “YES,” and they are soooo right!!

Isn’t “YES” what all of us really want to hear?

YES!

We are tired of roadblocks and barriers.  We want to set a course and move with all of our being toward a desired goal, and…

above all…

We don’t want to hear, “NO.”

While some might see this trait as stubborn or as a negative, I would like to suggest that this trait in each person is reflective of an important reality.  Each of us has an innate design to be in charge—to make important decisions that define our lives.

This design is reflected in our biology.  Deep inside our brains, we have a little area that specializes in freedom of choice.  It helps to regulate our motivation and drive.  When we feel freedom of choice this little part in our brain actually increases our motivation and drive, and as a result, we are more engaged in our own lives.

Conversely, when we feel we have no say in our lives, when we feel that no matter what we do the results will be the same, we can become more apathetic.

This week, I encourage you to take a moment to exercise your freedom of choice and identify some “yeses” that are important to you in your life.  To do this, use the following questions as #ponderprompts as you #taketimetothinktime.

Who do I want to be?  What are my big “YESes?”

What do I want to do?  What are by big “YESes?”

 

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

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Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out if Think Time is a fit for you at think-time.com.

 

Of course, exercising your freedom of choice, boosting your motivation, and identifying your big yeses are woven into Think Time’s 3DR process.  Don’t have your Think Time yet?  Shop here.

Start with the Destination

When you are planning a trip, do you start with a roadmap or with a destination?

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Of course, you start with the destination!

Once you determine the destination, then you can start deciding which type of transportation you will use, how long you will stay, what your budget will be, who you will invite along, etc.

And the same applies for making plans in your every day life. You need to know where you are going before you begin making the plans.

This is why we say “start with the #dream, not the #plan.”

Once you know where you are going, all the other pieces fit in place.  You automatically know what belongs and what doesn’t belong. And it doesn’t even take a lot of work.

This week, save yourself mountains and mountains of time by this simple pre-planning step when you #taketimetothinktime.

 

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-founder Think Time

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Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out if Think Time is a fit for you at think-time.com.

 

Tweets:

Start with the destination.  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Know where you are going before you begin making the plans. @thinktimetweets

Once you know where you are going, all the other pieces fit in place. @taketimetothinktime  think-time.com

Start with the #dream, not the #plan.” @taketimetothinktime think-time.com

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Cut Through the Noise

 

 

The 80/20 Rule

One question I get often is, “Can you explain the 80/20 Rule?”

At Think Time, as we help people focus on what matters most, we use the 80/20 rule in all of our systems.

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The one thing I can say about the 80/20 Rule is that when you get it…you GET it.  And, you will never go back.

There is an interesting history behind it, but the Big Idea is that it teaches us to look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.  Do they move the needle toward our goals?

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We can work really hard at something that doesn’t return a lot of results.  We can also strategically place small, targeted efforts toward something that yields enormous results.

This is the tip that helps us to stop spinning our wheels and start making traction.

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Why is it named “The 80/20 Rule?”  The rule derives its name from the discovery that in life about 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.  The converse is also true.  About 80% of our activities yield only 20% of our results.

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The 80/20 Rule is regularly used in business training to boost profits and skyrocket results.  For instance, salespeople regularly use this rule to close more deals.  If about 80% of sales come from 20% of the customers, then calling the list in alphabetical order from top to bottom will not be as fruitful as taking a moment to identify the high yielding 20% and to contact them first.  Less effort yields more results with the 80/20 Rule.

At Think Time, we are big on results—not only professional results but also personal and relational results.  So, we apply the 80/20 Rule to everything from creating agendas and budgets at work to household responsibilities and even our relationships.

Following are some examples of how the 80/20 Rule may integrate with your daily life.  A 20% activity is an activity that yields HIGH RESULTS.  An 80% activity yields LOW RESULTS–no matter how much effort you exert.

Here we go!

A 20% activity could be taking  a few minutes at the beginning of the day to identify your key priorities and to purge potential obstacles to accomplishing them.  Top performers do this every day because it yields such great results.  This move changes every action following it.

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An 80% activity could be trying to complete “everything” on your list.  Remember that all of your activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

A 20% activity could be having a clear agenda created and floating it by everyone before a meeting.  This simple step maximizes the minutes during the meeting, prevents running over due to sloppy discussions, and prevents countless add-on e-mail interchanges after the meeting.

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An 80% activity may be always saying “yes” when someone stops by your desk to say, “Gotta minute?”

At home, a 20% activity could be training your toddlers to clean up.  You are not only getting the toys cleaned, but you are building a sense of responsibility into a citizen of the world.

An 80% activity could be picking up your four year old’s toys again and again and again.  You are exhausted.  They feel good while their character worsens.  Their future co-workers will wish you had required them to pick up after themselves.  And, as a cherry on top, you will get to do it all over again tomorrow.

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An 80% is telling your kids to be kind to each other—unkindly.   

A 20% activity is modeling kindness in tone and action while teaching.  

If your spouse’s love language is “words of affirmation,” it may be an 80% to clean the dishes to show them you love them.  In this instance, a 20% activity may be instead writing a specific, heartfelt compliment.  

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My final example will be a counselor joke:

“How many counselors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“Just one – but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

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Trying to help someone who does not want to change is an 80%.  Targeting my effort to invest in someone who is wanting to grow: 20%.

By using the 80/20 Rule as part of deciding what goes onto your calendar, you will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again. 

Add the 80/20 Rule to your daily decisions and transform your life.

Does this help?

Please comment below and let me know!

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people clarify their vision so they can live their lives focused on what matters most.  

Shop Think Time today!

Blog Highlights:

Look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.

Do my activities move the needle toward my goals?

About 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.

All of our activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

Use the 80/20 Rule.  You will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again.

 

A Week Without Think Time

I have said recently, “If we close Think Time, I am printing enough to last me for the rest of my life because I am not willing to live another week without it.”

Truthfully, my life swallows me up in a minute without Think Time.

It is too much for me.

I am a stay at home mom with a business and four young kids (the youngest is 6 months), married to a man who is excellent at what he does.  And, you know as I do, when you are excellent at what you do, you continue to receive promotions—which is another word for more and more responsibility.  So, life is demanding for both of us.  Every minute counts.

Well, we had just finished two weeks of “tummy bugs,” and I was so excited to get back out in the real world and live life again.

Then, I got sick.

Now, it is one thing for the kids to be sick.  It is hard.  It is challenging.  It can stretch me just about more than I can take on top of an already full plate.

However, it is categorically another event for the entire family when Mommy is sick.

This weekend, I came down with strep throat.

Thankfully, this time the worst of my sickness was over the weekend, but I was in bed for a full day, and I was not even considering thinking on a higher level to do my Think Time.

So, like it or not, Monday rolls around.  I am still sick, and now I am caring for four kids too.  So, Monday, I did not do my Think Time.  But, I did make it to the doctor.

Tuesday, I am a little better having started medicine the day before, but still under the weather and still not even thinking about Think Time.

Wednesday, I feel like all of the to-dos of the world are crashing in around me.  Everything feels urgent and important.  Over the past few days, I accidentally promised more than I could deliver to several people.  I just think I can do more than I really can.  I felt like I was swimming in undone tasks—unclear what to do first.  I was making some traction because of good habits stored up over time, but it wasn’t enough.

The biggest clue for me that I am out of balance is when my three year old asks me to play with her multiple times, and I answer her multiple times that it is not the right time to play.

That used to happen a lot.

For years, I felt swallowed up by tasks all around me just staring at me.  All of them seemed completely urgent, yet they were not why I gave my notice at work to BE at home.  These little people were the reason.  Yet, for some reason.  It.  Seemed.  So.  Hard.  To.  Get.  To.  Them.

So, those familiar feelings were creeping in yesterday.  I recognized the red flags, and I pulled an audible.

On top of everything, I could feel the weekend already upon me.  I have special plans for the weekend that required some careful thought to execute well.

So, when the baby went to sleep for her afternoon nap, I grabbed the opportunity!  I sent the big kids outside to play with strict instructions to have fun “outside.”  I kept the window open and peeked out often, so I could still hear them and monitor them, but I was focusing in.  I needed clarity.  Fast.

I grabbed my Think Time, my fine point Sharpie pen, and my big box of Prismacolor pencils and set to work.  Because I had some real time details to quickly assimilate into my calendar, I also had my Mac open.

Within about 20 minutes, I could feel the clarity opening into my life.  Another 10, and I was in the game again.

I knew I was back when I sent an e-mail to postpone an appointment that clearly was not priority in a week that resembled a mile-high burger with sickness on one end and big plans on the other.

Life was still full, but I was back in the driver’s seat—ensuring that it was happily full, but not stressfully overflowing.

I have had many moments like these since starting Think Time.  Sometimes I feel as if my head will just burst with the pressure.  Then, I grab a few moments of uninterrupted down time with my Think Time.  And, my life literally moves from chaos to calm.  It can take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes depending upon what is going on to get re-centered in the middle of the crazies, but those breathers make all of the difference.

And, just because this is a stay-at-home mom example doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply at the office.  Everything I do here, Keith does at work.  We both lead teams of people with all types of personalities toward a common vision.  We both have deadlines.  We both have meetings.  We both have interruptions.  We both need to refuel.

We both need to maintain perspective and plan ahead or everything really will crash in on us and on those who depend on us.

If the phrase “moving from chaos to calm” strikes home with you, it is because it has struck our home first.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

The struggles are VERY REAL.

We live them every day.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

So, next time you feel the crazies coming, be sure you @taketimetothinktime to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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Christine Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

 

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Blog Highlights:

Life is demanding.

Every minute counts.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

Take time to Think Time to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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For people who want more time to focus on what matters most.

Free e-book “How to Live Your Purpose” http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Shop Think Time Purpose Planners at think-time.com

 

Two Simple Words. That Make All of the Difference

I was catching up with a friend of twenty years recently, and she said the most profound statement, “The parent’s ‘you are’ becomes the child’s ‘I am.’”

Of course, I didn’t get it the first time.

“Can you say that again?” I said.

“The parent’s ‘you are’ becomes the child’s ‘I am.’ You know, as we grow up, our parent’s say, ‘You are this and that,’ and we just assume those traits because we believe them. They are our reality. We implicitly believe, ‘I am this and that.’ Our lives begin to tell the story of our parents’ beliefs and words toward us.”

“Ooooh, I hear ya. Tell me more.”

When the parent says, “You are never going to achieve this.” The child grows up and believes, “I am never going to achieve this.” Then, the child fulfills this belief by not achieving things. When the parent says, “You are crazy.” The child grows up to believe, “I am crazy.” Then, the child does crazy things.

As parent of four little people, this foundational process that I have intellectually known for years but had not pondered lately sank in deeply.

What am I telling my little people every day?

What “you are” words am I using?

Do I more naturally speak the negative or the positive?

How can I speak truthful, empowering, and encouraging words to them?

How can I use “you are” sentences to highlight their strengths and to empower them to overcome their weaknesses?

How can I speak life into my little people so they grow up to be thriving, vibrant adults?

We all have days when we are less than our best.  How healing it can be to have someone come alongside us and see us for more than we are at that moment!  It can be so life-giving to have a friend, a boss, a spouse, a parent, or a colleague to remind you of who you really are and of who they believe you will ultimately be.

Michael Hyatt—father of five and purpose & productivity extraordinaire—similarly encourages people in a wonderful blog to simply “lead with positive expectations.”  He recommends, “Don’t look for flaws in people. Look for strengths that you can help build up.”

This powerful concept of speaking words that become reality shapes our environments and our outcomes at work, in our communities, and in our homes.

Ask yourself what “you are” phrases you are using in your relationships.

Are your results in line with your words?

How can you use this powerful relationship hack to tweak the results you are getting?

 

Christine M. Wilson, Co-Founder of Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

For People Who Want More Time to Focus on What Matters Most

Check out our Free E-book How to Discover Your Purpose

Shop Purpose Planners at think-time.com.

 

The Downside of Positive Thinking

How could there possibly be a downside to positive thinking?

Isn’t it all…well…positive?

Like, team, yes.

 

 

Gabriele Oettingen, Professor of Psychology at NYU, says that positive thinking alone can actually deter you from achieving your dreams.

 

How can that be?

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In the research, people who dream big with unrealistic “positive fantasies” actually perform less well than their peers.

Having high hopes with unrealistic expectations does not improve one’s chances of accomplishing what one desires; instead, it serves to decrease one’s energy toward the goal.

For instance, a student who has a big test and fantasizes positively about doing well on the exam–according to the research–performs less well than her peer who dreams big about doing well on the exam but also takes into consideration what obstacles lie in her way.

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Oettingen states, “If you complement these fantasies with what stands in the way then you’ll actually get the energy.  And if these goals are attainable, you’ll really go for it.”

She affirms dreaming about what you really want.  “Noticing your dreams and thinking about what you really want can be the first step in making them a reality.”

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What do you do next?

Oettingen recommends identifying “a wish that is very dear to you.”  Then, after you have done this, “Switch gears and ask, ‘What is it in me that stands in the way?'”

Really look the obstacle in the face.

Then, make a plan.

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Ask yourself, “If this obstacle occurs, what behavior will I do?”

According to the research, moving through these steps is the best way to move through hurdles to accomplish what matters most to you.

Oettingen’s research demonstrates well the “why” behind the Think Time Life Leadership Process.

The system is four step: “Dream – Decide – Do + Review.”

It moves you through identifying, as Oettingen says, “what is dear to you” on a regular basis and moving these visions into your real life.

 

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Think Time guides you to dream big and then to confront the obstacles that lie within you–boosting your chances of taking the actual steps necessary to accomplish your goals.

In summary, start with the dream.  Just don’t stop with the dream.

What dreams are near to you today?

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder of Think Time

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Think Time 3DR Program

Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be…

even when life is busy, distracting, or demanding.

think-time.com.

Shop Think Time Programs with online training here.

 

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Can One Person Really Make a Difference?

Can one person really make a difference?  Let me tell you a story about one man who noticed something important and took action.

Thomas Dodson stood in the checkout line at a grocery store.  He noticed that his daughters, 6 and 8 at the time, could not stop looking at the pictures on the covers of the magazines.  He kept looking at them.  They kept looking at the magazines.

Dodson knew that he was about to walk out of the store, and the kid-level images would be gone in a moment.  But, what if they had constant access to the Internet?

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Dodson remembered the first time he logged onto the Internet—at 20 years of age.  “At twenty, I had life experience…young people these days don’t have the luxury of life experience.”  Today’s teens and tweens face cyber-bullying, sexting, and more.

In a recent survey of teens, Dodson discovered that—even with the amazing pressures of Snapchat, Tumblr, and Instagram—only 15% of teens talk to their parents about their online lives!

To change this, Dodson co-founded Above the Fray to address the numerous issues young people face online.  “Our goal is to educate parents and teachers about what life is really like online for young people, and to give adults the tools they need to begin meaningful dialogues at home and at school.”

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With real data from targeted focus groups, Above the Fray offers tangible solutions to real life issues  “that will help keep children safe.”

Above the Fray is meeting a need that didn’t exist a few years ago.

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By creative thinking, awareness to the needs around him, and staying true to his purpose, Dodson was able to recognize a need and meet it.

Now when parents wonder how to empower their children to be safe online, there are downloads, presentations, and consultations ready and available on Above the Fray’s website and Facebook Page.  There is a place to go!

 

What about you?

What are you noticing?

What change in the world is on your heart?

 

Bring your dream into reality today.

Live your irreplaceable story.

We believe in your dreams.

 

Blog Highlights:

Can one person really make a difference? @thinktimetweets

Only 15% of teens talk to their parents about their online lives! @beabovethefray

What are you noticing? @thinktimetweets

What change in the world is on your heart?  @thinktimetweets

Bring your dream into reality.  @thinktimetweets

Think creatively, be aware of the needs around you, and stay true to your purpose.  @thinktimetweets

Today’s teens and tweens face cyber-bullying, sexting, and more. @beabovethefray

Empower your children to be safe online. @beabovethefray

What need will you meet that didn’t exist a few years ago? @thinktimetweets

 

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Christine Wilson

Co-founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

We believe in your dreams.

Shop Purpose Planners and more at think-time.com.

How to Live From the Inside Out: Four Simple Tweaks

So often, when we make our daily plans, we think from the outside-in, not the inside-out.

 

We think of what we “have” to do.

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We allow other people’s priorities to become our plans.

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We bounce from activity to activity—exhausted but not really accomplishing much.

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How can we reverse this?

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How can we live from the inside out?

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How can we live a life full of what we truly want to do?

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How can we live a life that is full of our own priorities—driven by a deep sense of purpose?

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The answer may surprise you!

 

Are you ready?

 

Can you handle the truth?

You can’t handle the truth.

“I can handle the truth!!” you say?

 

Okay, here it is.

 

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

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That’s it.

It’s that simple.

It’s that revolutionary.

For decades we have been literally using half of our brain to make our plans.  Starting with convergent, left-brain thinking, we incessantly begin with the plan rather than the dream.

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Think Time’s Life Leadership system is structured to reverse this.

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Here’s why:

Everything you have ever experienced—real or imagined—is stored deep within your brain.  Over time, you have developed ways of making decisions, and you have formed compelling images of what you really want.

That means, when you are desiring to discover your life’s purpose, you must get in touch with these deep parts of your brain.  And, when you want to discover how to get unstuck from lifelong habits and hangups—you guessed it—many of the answers lie hidden deep within your brain.

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There’s a catch.

This deep part of your brain is literally not accessible through words.

That’s right.

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Words are a left-brained thing, and the left-brain is not connected to the whole brain like the right brain is.

The right-brain is more thoroughly connected to the deeper parts of the brain.  So, to get in touch with these deep parts of the brain, we need to somehow engage the right brain.

How can we engage the right brain?

Have an idea

I am glad you asked!  Following are four steps to engage the right brain.  Doing these simple things will help you gain access to what you really want and allow you to get unstuck as you move toward what matters most.

1.  Think big picture.  The right brain is all about thinking big picture.  Ask yourself what wild success looks like.  Literally “see” into the future through visualizing the best case scenario.

2.  Draw.  Draw a picture what you have envisioned.  Yes. Really. Draw! Stick figures are welcomed!  Images move us.

3.  Use all five senses.  Create clarity around your goals by visualizing further using all of your five senses.

4.  Add color.  Color creates clarity around our images and helps to engage the right brain even more.

Once you have engaged your right brain and allowed yourself to “dream big,” you can then move toward engaging your left brain in making strategic plans, evaluating the parts, and communicating in words.

These simple tweaks to your life planning will prove transformative to living from the inside out—not the outside in.

The Woman who is Breathing Fresh Air

Don’t live another day with regret!

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

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Christine Wilson

Think Time Co-Founder

 Blog Highlights:

We think of what we “have” to do.  @thinktimetweets

We allow other people’s priorities to become our plans.  @thinktimetweets

We bounce from activity to activity—exhausted but not really accomplishing much.  @thinktimetweets

How can we live from the inside out?  @thinktimetweets

How can we live a life full of what we truly want to do?  @thinktimetweets

How can we live a life that is full of our own priorities—driven by a deep sense of purpose?  @thinktimetweets

For decades we have been literally using half of our brain to make our plans.  @thinktimetweets

Begin with the dream.  @thinktimetweets

Engaging the right brain will help you discover what you really want.  @thinktimetweets

Engaging the right brain will allow you to get unstuck as you move toward what matters most.  @thinktimetweets

Don’t live another day with regret.  @thinktimetweets

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.  @thinktimetweets

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Visit us at think-time.com.

Maximize your thinking, uncover what matters most, and drive sustainable life change and results by using your whole brain to plan (and live) your whole life with Think Time’s Dream, Decide, Do, and Review Process.  Shop our Purpose Planners and more at think-time.com.

What is Essential?

Recently I asked myself a simple question: “What is essential?”  

If you have traveled with a baby or have seen anyone travel with a baby with piles of belongings in tow, you may appreciate the unique challenge implicit between the lines of this blog.

My two and a half month old daughter was my traveling companion for this weekend visit to my hometown.  We were returning for a very special wedding.  

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The trip only lasted a day and a half, so I thought I could do it.  I thought I could live on the bare minimum.

To pack for two in a backpack, I asked myself, “What is absolutely essential?”  

Of course, I packed my Think Time, a pen, my phone, and a charger. Then, I added my most essential makeup items, our clothes for the wedding, my baby sling, diapers, wipes, and a few more things.  I evaluated what items I need not duplicate as I stayed with my family.  I wore layers, and I chose one–yes, just one–pair of shoes for the weekend.

It was shocking how little I was able to pack to successfully travel-even with a baby!  

Oddly enough, the book I was going to bring with me did not make the cut. 

Can you guess the title?

That’s right!  How did you know?

Greg McKeown’s new New York Times Best Seller–Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

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This refreshing book is full of solutions that involve saying a careful “yes” to only that which is essential.   

While many of us feel frazzled, directionless, and overwhelmed as a way of life, McKeown refreshingly encourages us to pursue only what is essential.  Like my backpack (plus car seat) vacation, what is essential is much less than we think. 

In this blog, I will walk you through some of the tools of Think Time that guide you through evaluating what is essential.  

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The Envision Box: 

When you create a clear vision of where you are going, you can immediately see what actions align with your vision.  High results activities that support your vision are essential.  

The Rosebush: 

When you identify your priorities and actively decide what you will prune to maintain energy and resources for those, you can immediately identify what is essential.

The Serenity Circle: 

When you sketch or write on the inside of the Serenity Circle what is within your responsibility, you can further clarify what is essential.

The Decidere Grid / Decision Columns:

When you filter your actions according to those that give you the most return on your investment, you can immediately see what is essential.  

Calendar Tool:

When you live off your calendar and not only from your to do list, the limited space in your real life again clarifies what is most essential.

Identifying what is essential is “essential” to living a life focused on what matters most.  To do this, allow Think Time’s Dream, Decide, Do, & Review process to guide you through selecting what is essential in your life.  To go deeper on this aspect of taking time to think time, we recommend to you McKeown’s excellent book, Essentialism.

What are some things that are essential in your life?

What is absolutely essential? @thinktimetweets

Many of us feel frazzled, directionless, and overwhelmed as a way of life. @thinktimetweets

The tools of Think Time guide you through evaluating what is essential.  @thinktimetweets 

Use the Envision Box to visualize where you are going.  High results activities that support this vision are essential.

Use The Rosebush to identify your essential priorities. @thinktimetweets 

Actively decide what you will prune to maintain energy and resources for what matters most.  @thinktimetweets 

Use the Serenity Circle to sketch or write what is within your responsibility to clarify what is essential.  @thinktimetweets 

Use the Decide Phase of Think Time to find which actions give you the most return on your investment.  These are essential.  @thinktimetweets

When you live off your calendar and not only from your to do list, the limited space in your real life clarifies what is most essential.  @thinktimetweets

Identifying what is essential is “essential” to living a life focused on what matters most. @thinktimetweets

 

Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

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Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.